Preparing for the Transition to
Assisted Living (Memory Care)
Legal, Financial, & Medical Checklist
As your loved one’s move into assisted living draws near, make sure all the appropriate legal, financial, and medical information is up to date and readily available. As stressful as any move can be, you don’t want to make matters worse by being ill-prepared. Having to search around for important documents and information at the last minute will make the transition much more stressful. If you have already gone through the process of Getting Organized as a Family Caregiver as outlined in our previous series of articles, preparing all the necessary documents and information for the scheduled move-in date should be fairly simple. While the relevant legal, financial, and medical information might vary somewhat depending on your situation, there are a few key documents in each category that you’ll most likely want to have current and close at hand.
In terms of legal documents, make sure that you have a copy of your loved one’s living will, as well as any Power of Attorney documents, covering both financial and healthcare authority. In most instances, these types of documents would already have been provided to the assisted living community, but it’s a good idea to have them readily available regardless. Particularly in situations where more than one family member is involved, it’s important to have the key documents that spell out each person’s role on hand. With regards to finances, make sure you have the relevant bank account info and, if you’re paying by check, make sure you have the right checkbook handy. While this might sound obvious, it’s quite common for families to discover they have the wrong checkbook with them when it comes time to pay. Further, you might want to see if you’re coming to the end of a checkbook and you need to reorder. If some or all of your loved one’s assisted living will be paid by long-term care insurance, you’ll want to contact the insurance company well in advance, especially if it’s your first claim on the policy. Payments from long-term care insurance can take several weeks or even a few months to process and arrive. On the medical front, make sure you have your loved one’s prescriptions organized, accompanied by a list of all relevant healthcare providers and their contact info. Ideally, you’d have at least a 30-day supply of all prescriptions at the time of move-in.
As is the case with all significant life events, a little preparation can go a long way. Being prepared with some legal, financial, and medical information can pave the way for a smoother transition into assisted living. Bear in mind that moving day will undoubtedly be an emotional time for everyone involved. Investing a little extra time in the planning phase can greatly alleviate some of the emotional ups and downs that can occur.